Good Life: Tour of the Harn Museum Leong Yin Tanya Chiu

This is my second visit to the Harn Museum, but the experience is difference from the first one. In this visit, I started to explore and feel the relationships between me and the artworks other than just looking them in a physical way. I used to think museums are the most boring places to visit because there are just art pieces being hanged on the wall. However, museums have became less revolting to me because I start to see, to feel, to think, and to experience the ideas behind the artworks instead of just looking at them. Knowing that the artists are not just displaying their works, but indeed trying to tell viewers their thoughts and messages in a non-written form, a format that can communicate with everyone.

Technique of the Artist

Ernest Fiene - Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York - 1922 - Oil on Canvas

The artist used oil paint for this artwork. Although oil paint is a common medium often being used, the technique that the artist applied with this medium is the part that fascinated me. The thick texture of the oil paint turns a 2-dimensional painting into a 3-dimensional painting. It becomes more real to me than just a flat plain landscape painting. When this texture combines with the vibrant hues, the vitality of this art piece has been disclosed. The catchy saturated colors seem to place me in the locale of that painting. I can feel the atmosphere of that landscape. I can feel the autumn is there, and the breeze that sweep over the trees to make them sway. The liveliness of line, colors, and composition brings me to the appreciation of nature. And I really enjoy the warmth and gentle atmosphere that is being carried out from this painting.

Design of the Museum

The design of a museum is always important because it houses objects that have been collected for their historical, cultural, and artistic importance. On one hand, the museum is not only designed for the exhibition of artworks, but also for the comfort for people to move through space and enjoy the artworks.

The Cofrin Asian Art Wing is an exhibition that I enjoy the most. This might have to do with my personal preference since I love potteries and all kind of ceramics a lot. But at the same time, I enjoy the interior design of this wing and also the space planning and lighting. The use of wood floor, ceiling, and walls add a natural warmth and comfortable texture to this wing. Especially the wood on the ceiling add an architectural interest to this wing and attract viewers to look upwards and explore the space.

The natural light that come though the floor-to-ceiling windows also brings in warmth and relaxes me while walking around. The large empty space in the center allow me to slow down my pace and enjoy every single peaceful moment within each art piece.

The outdoor garden

The outdoor walkable garden in this wing definitely add an interest to this space. The arranged ponds, bamboo, and flowers bring viewers to a further point of peacefulness and create an interaction between them and the nature.

Art and Core Values

The painting below appeals to one of my core values, security. Security has always been one of my most important core values after I got to America. I came to America from Hong Kong three years ago to study. And during my first two years in Seattle, I had a really bad impression on the safety in America. I almost got robbed one time at night by a bunch of teenagers while walking to a bus stop. It frightened me a lot because things like this would never happen in Hong Kong. After that one time, I always feel myself lack of security.

Yvonne Jacquette - Chelsea Composite II - 1995 - Oil on Linen

By looking at this art piece, it reminds me of that feeling. Even though the purpose of this painting is to explore the tension between the natural and manmade, the nighttime urban scene that the artist depicted just recall my fear of night. It is hard for me to get rid of that fear, the fear of walking at night or the fear of same thing would happen on me again. However, this painting help me overcome my fear at some point. By looking at those bustling and flourishing streets, I started to appreciate the beauty of night. Night is not always dangerous if we are not just focusing on the dark side, but also the wonderful side of it. Same thing to security that it could change in levels depends on how we think of one thing.

Art and the Good Life

The photograph of this immense urban area depicts the density and patterns of Mexico City, one of the world’s largest cities. The idea of this photograph is to illustrate the effects of materialism, consumerism and deregulated capitalism. By viewing this photograph, I totally understand the idea that the artist tries to carry out. Not only in Mexico, but in most other places around the world especially in developed countries, people have become more materialism. People only care what they physically have rather than the spiritual values within a material. People start treating everything in the universe as matter, and think of themselves as conquerors of nature.

Melanie Smith - Tiabgis Aerial Reflex - 2003 - Chromogenic Print

In Hong Kong, a city where I come from, materialism seems to be far more important than anything else. We have been identified by our materialistic culture and high levels of consumerism. Skyscrapers and shopping malls are everywhere and pack the streets in close proximity. Young generations are embracing materialism as no generation before. If this phenomenon keep going on, it will not only affect the values of our future generations but also the environment around us since no one care about it anymore. We should change the way we think and act, and start educate younger generations to embrace our nature. There are a lot of beautiful things happening out there where we should pay more attention to it and learn to appreciate it.

Created By
Tanya Chiu

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